Over the next few years Honda finally allowed the CBR-XX to be purchased in some colors other than black. In 2000 titanium was featured. In 2001, red was the color shipped to the USA and the speedo changed over to a digital unit. In 2002, the silver CBR included new EFI mapping, but in 2003 Honda went back to black and added a catalytic converter for the bike's last year in the USA-though the Blackbird continued for several more years in other countries.
AMA drag racer Kent Stotz...
AMA drag racer Kent Stotz won two PROSTAR championships on a turbocharged CBR-XX and was the first rider to make a 200 mph pass (and back it up). Many stock Honda engine components were used, yet one engine would last a complete season-a strong testament to the Honda's rugged construction.
In order to get a professional racer/builders input, we turned to Kent Stotz, Honda Rider's Club of America AMA drag racer who won two PROSTAR drag racing championships in 2001 and 2002 aboard the CBR-XX. Kent and his long-time mechanic Mark Harrell developed their turbocharged XX when they first started their program in 2000 and have most likely seen the inside of the CBR1000XX engine more times than anyone in the country. Stotz raced the CBR-XX from 2000 through the 2004 AMA season. "Despite making over 500 horsepower on a regular basis, our race engine still used a lot of Honda parts," says Stotz. In addition to using Honda cases and cylinder head, their race bike also used Honda valves, crank, throttle bodies, cams and transmission for the first few years. "In 2004 we changed over to a Star Racing-prepped head and Web Cams to boost top end horsepower, which is how we became the first bike in the class to run a 200 mph quarter-mile pass and back it up." Stotz also states that "with the strength and durability of that engine, we could rev it 13,200 rpm on the track and one engine would still survive a full season if needed." The bike ran a best time of 7.25 seconds in the quarter-mile. In 2003 a Velocity Racing turbocharged CBR-XX posted an incredible 497.2 horsepower exhibition run at the annual AMI dyno shootout in Daytona Beach. The XX is such a part of history that one of the Stotz championship bikes still stands today on exhibit at the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, IA.
As for common modifications, most riders start with a full exhaust to save some weight and gain some power along with a jet kit or Power Commander depending on the model year. Others install VFR800 clip-ons or HeliBars to raise the riding position and make the bike more comfortable for distance riding. The next most popular upgrades are suspension related. Some riders opted to have the rear shock rebuilt while others suggested a replacement shock from Penske or Öhlins. For the front forks, most everyone upgraded springs and fluid or installed a re-valving kit.
Chad Bear's 1997 XX features...
Chad Bear's 1997 XX features Dymag three-spoke carbon fiber wheels with ABE front rotors. The front fork is an Öhlins unit intended for a CB1300. Delkevic bodywork is custom painted, and other modifications include an Öhlins shock, Scotts steering damper, Gilles rearsets and Vario bars, and a Delkevic exhaust header with Two Brothers canisters.
This 1997 model is owned by...
This 1997 model is owned by Hank Groh of Augusta NJ and makes 255 horsepower and 155 ft-lb of torque courtesy of an intercooled Mitsubishi turbo. Chassis modifications include a Penske shock and fork internals, Carrozzeria wheels and a Spiegler LSL handlebar conversion kit.
It started out as a 2000 titanium-colored...
It started out as a 2000 titanium-colored model, but Dean Pipes has obviously modified his CBR-XX extensively. An NLR Systems custom turbo setup, Accel DFI fuel management and MSD ignition combine to make 573 horsepower. An Öhlins shock, McIntosh AlumiPro swingarm and Marvic wheels are just a few of the chassis bits.
Of all the bikes we have featured thus far in the series, the CBR1100XX has to be one of the most problem-free bikes reviewed. The first of the few common problems is the cam chain tensioner, which gets noisy and eventually fails. It takes 15-30 minutes to repair at a cost of $35, so it is a very minor issue. On some bikes, the rectifier/regulator causes trouble and requires replacement. If you overload the bike with a lot of high-draw electrical items such as heated suits, the stator is also prone to failure. Otherwise, the bikes have been bullet-proof and easy to work on.
If you decide you want to buy one of these birds, the 1997-1998 carbureted models can be had for $3165-$3695 according to NADA.com
. Jump up to the EFI models and the prices run from $3830 to $3965 in 2000-2001, and then creep all the way up to $5090 for the last year of production in 2003. It was a great bike, but never got the attention in the USA as it did in Europe and that is a shame as it proved to be a worthy mount for drag racers and sport touring riders alike.